North American Scholar

HARDING, Caleb Richmond

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1861-08-05
  • Born City: Milton
  • Born State/Country: NC
  • Parents: Rev. Ephraim Henry & Mary Richmond H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1952-12-18
  • Death City: Davidson
  • Death State/Country: NC
  • Married: Mildred Berry, 4 Sept. 1888.
  • Education:

    A.B. Davidson Coll., 1880; M.A., 1885; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1887.

  • Professional Experience:

    Lat. tchr. Charlotte, NC, 1882-3; prof. Gk. Hampden-Sydney, 1883-55; Lat. tchr. Kenmore U. HS (Amherst, VA), 1886-8; prof. Gk. & Germ. Davidson Coll., 1888-1910; prof. Gk. & chair dept., 1910-45 (officially retired in 1935); pres. So. Sect. CAMWS, 1936-7.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Orator Dinarchus” (Johns Hopkins, 1887).

  • Publications:

    “A Sketch from 1880,” Davidson College Magazine (May 1912) 312-25; “Greek Grammar Illustrated from the Modern Newspaper,” TAPA 56 (1925) xxxiv-xxxv; “Subsequent Action Expressed by the Aorist Participle,” TAPA 57 (1926) xxxix; “A Plea for Insistence on Latin in the Public High School,” North Carolina Teacher IV, 10 (1927) 33-39; “A Review in Criticism of Eduard Norden's Agnostos Theos” TAPA 59 (1928) xxvi-xxvii; “A Study and Criticism of Eduard Norden's Interpretation of Vergil's Fourth Eclogue,” TAPA 62 (1931) xxix-xxx; “An Attempt at Rebuttal of Some of the Arguments against the Saint John Authorship of the Fourth Gospel,” TAPA 66 (1935) xl-xli; “Aristophanic Wit and Humor in American and English Literature,” TAPA 71 (1940) xxxviii-xxxix; “Debatable Points in Machen's 'Origin of Paul's Religion,' “ ibid., xxxix-xl.

  • Notes:

    Harding came from a long line of Presbyterian ministers and himself wanted to be a preacher but at the age of 15 decided that his voice was too weak for the demands of the pulpit. He was known as “Dickie” around the Davidson campus at which he spent 61 of his 91 years. A man of small stature with a trim goatee, he owned one car and two suits throughout his entire career and taught his classes always in the same striped pants, swallowtail coat, bat-wing collar, and cravat. Later in his career he developed courses in scientific terminology and Greek art, though in his Victorian way, when showing photographs of statues, he would fold the picture to show only the top third, and he would not show male and female statues on the same day. An editorial in the Charlotte Observer said, “He saw clearly the distinction between education and training and he contended to the last that for the business of living the former was the most important. What [his students] may have absorbed of Homer and Plato, of Virgil and Tacitus, probably never earned them a dollar, but it gave them an insight into the values of living that mere training could never impart.” He was married for 62 years to his wife, who lived to be 103.

  • Sources:

    Charlotte Observer (19 Dec. 1952) 18; Davidson College Archives.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.